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Aloisi looks to keep Roar fresh and firing

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/01/2017 Cathy Walshe

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says he'll continue to rotate his players in a bid to keep his squad fresh, fit and firing as they juggle A-League fixtures with Champions League commitments.

Aloisi's rest and refresh policy paid dividends in Wellington on Saturday, when an 87th minute Jamie Maclaren strike gave Brisbane a 1-0 win over the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

Maclaren's unerring instinct for goal remained unblunted despite making his impact off the bench for the second successive week.

The fringe Socceroo's clinical finish halted Brisbane's three-game losing streak and gave them their first A-League win since mid-December.

It also consolidated fourth place on the table, gave the 23-year-old striker his seventh goal of the season, and provided a welcome confidence boost ahead of a busy three weeks for the Roar.

Brisbane need to win two upcoming playoffs on January 31 and February 8 to qualify for the AFC Champions League, and are also desperate to regain A-League momentum.

"We've got a busy period coming up, and I always said that we have to rotate players," Aloisi said.

"Especially the front players, because they do a lot of high-end speed running, so you can't start them every game.

"We left Thomas Broich behind, not because he's not a good player or not in form - we want him to be fresh this week when we play the Wanderers."

Aloisi says that same reasoning is behind Maclaren's benching.

"Credit to Jamie, he didn't drop his head.

"He knew the opportunity was going to come, whether it was to start or come off the bench, and he did well," Aloisi said.

"He made sure he was ready, not only with the goal but just his movement up front caused the Phoenix problems, and that'll give him confidence."

Roar defender Corey Brown will sit out next week's match against Western Sydney Wanderers after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday.

The timing is fortunate after he was clattered in an ill-timed tackle by Phoenix defender Jacob Tratt and forced from the field in the 71st minute.

Aloisi wasn't happy with the tackle, which he said should have resulted in a red card rather than a yellow.

"If you have tackles like that every week, someone's going to get injured," he said.

"When the studs are that high, sliding in from a distance, it's dangerous play."

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